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the difficulty of borrowing money had acute and patient calculators, both been greater
in and out of parliament, set them. But this system had been for more selves to shew by a variety of statethan a cen'ory adopted, for avoiding ments, though with what degree of ar. the immediate pressure of raising the curacy it is not here pretended to supplies wituin the year, and could judge, that the amoant of taxes ne. not now be abandoned. The impo. cessary to be imposed under the new sition of new taxes to any great plan, as it was called, or of debt in. amount, would have been harsh and curred on account of compound in. cruel, and might have been even a terest, in the twentieth year from dinzerous expedient. The raising raising any particular loan, would of the property tax to 10 per cent, be twice as much as under common (which certain financiers entertained funding, that is to say, borrowing, thoughts of raising still higher) was and raising taxes within the year for universally complained of as most payment of the interest of the sums oppressive, and tyrannical. It was borrowed. called by thousands, not taxation, Of all the plans of finance sub. but confiscation.
mitted to the consideration of par. Lord Henry Petty therefore, in the liament, the mot simple, solid, and ardour of genius and youth, con.
what would have been most gene. ceived the design of relieving the na- rally acceptable, was that of Sir James tion, at least for a time, by abstrac- Pulteney, who declared his opinion tion on abstra tion, by refinements that the accumulation of the sinking and calculations, that stretched to fund should stop now, that is, that the utmost the finest and strongest the produce of this fund, during the nerves of political arithmetic. War. war, should be diverted to the serJoans and supplementary loans; one vice of the year: which would save percent, sinking fundson supplemen. the trouble and expence attending tary loans, and five per cent. sinking the making and managing of new fanls on war-loans; to raise the loans to that amount.
The great first year a smaller supplementary partiality of ministers, or those who loan than in proportion to that of expected or wished to be ministers, other years; tables to shew how for the sinking fuud, was very gene. much might he diverted out of the rally ascribed to the facility it ex. existing sinking fund; and calcula. tended, by keeping up the price of tions on the rise and fall of consols, stocks, to the borro ving of money. 90 money capital of delt, and no- Lord H. Petty's confession that, in ainal capital...-A'l this with the ac. his view of the matter, the great se. knowledged uncertainty of future nefit of the sinking fund lay in the incidents, and the future deprecia. certainty it attorded of stock being tion of honey, conveyed to minds a marketable commodity, was muck incapable, or too inactive to follow commented on both in conversation the labyrinth of his combinations, and publications of the ress: in the idea of a machinery too cumher. which this benefit to stock-jobbers, some and intricate, and liable to too and ministers, ever prone to get the many unforeseen accidents, to be command of as much money as pos. acted upon by men of common sense, sible into their own hands, was viewed endaltogether chimerical: while more as a tax of eight or nine millions a
year on the people. In truth, this of the stockholders, clamorous is benefit, if it be one, was the only be. vain for the regular payment of thei nefit that accompanied the sinking dividends, would he drowned in on fund. With regard to the nation, general uproar of the nation... Bu considered as an individual proprie. such a sudden and sad reverse, even tor, or one family, this scheme of though our open trade should b making the family at once debtor and shut out from the continent of Europe creditor, taking from the one hand with all the world to trade with be to give the other, robbing Peter to sides, is not to be apprehended. Ou pay Paul, was merely a political so. national prosperity may reasonably phism. It reminds us of the cove. be expected, if we may judge hy wha tous man in Moliere ; who, chagrined has past since the termination of the beyond measure at the loss of his mo. American war, to increase, not in ney, and not knowing whom to accuse an arithmetical, but more nearly in of the theft, seizes the left hand with a geometrical proportion to its prethe right, and cries out in a paroxysm
sent extent: in which case the future of passion, “ And myself too! I will depreciation of money must be excharge myself with the robbery.” tremely rapid; so great indeed as to Public credit would never be shaken defy allourcalculation. Here the loss while we could pay the interest, it is evident, would fall on the stoch. though we should never diminish the holders. The delt of the nation amount of our debts. The taxex rain would be almost annihilated, merely sed forthe sinkingfund, may be consi. hy a gradual decrease in the value o dered as a capital laid out at a very money. And as to the stock-holders low interest, instead of being suflered the depreciation in the real value of to remain in the hands of industrious stock, that is, the necessaricsit would individuals, to be employed by them in purchase, while it continued to be agriculture, manufactures, and trade. transferred from hand to hand, would It is, as if a landholder, or farmer, not be very sensibly felt by any posinstead of improving his estate or farm, should lock up, for the benefit It seems therefore to be the wisest of his grandchildren, his guincas, as well as simplest political conce crowns, and shillings, in his strong- my, to apply, if necessary, the whole box. Without a sinking fund, the revenue of the current year to the very progress of society would alle. service of the state, rather than to viate the burthen of the national debt, oppress and overload the people beg and at last almost annihilate it. taxes that cramp productive indus
Either the navigation, commerce, try, for the purpose of raising or con. and general exertion and improve. tinuing the accumulation of a sinh. ment of the British empire, must un. ing fund..-Queen Elizabeth was dergo a sudden and a sad reverse, or wont to say, that “ money was continue to flourish more and more: good to her, in her people's pockets for in human affairs there is nothing as in her own.”... If the people had absolutely stationary. In the first been suffered to live as comfortably case, the sinking fund would be swept as possible, and if possible to put a away in the general crash; public little money in their pockets instead credit would dwindle also away, and of the sinking fund, goresument almost to nothing; and the voice would have lost nothing. It seems
to have been just as easy for govern. finances, like Mr. Pitt, had provi. ment, in the reign of George III, to ded, according to his calculations, a put their hands in the pockets of the sinking fund. But lo! instead of a prope, as in that of Queen Elizabeth. sinking fund, a great deficit. Mr. It is the yearly produce of the natio- Necker acknowledged that deficit, Dal industry alone that can be consi. but by way of apology, gave an acdered as a permanent fund for de. count of the various unforeseen cir. frasing the expences of each year. cumstances to which it was owing. If more be taken, by drawing bills Mr. de Calonne replied that reasons on posterity, and loading the present why the deficit could not but exist, generation with the interest, the an. se red only to prove the truth of its 0:21 produce is every year suffering existence. The contingencies by diminution, which is also a diminution which it was occasioned, ought to of the sources of revenue.
have been taken into that average The controversy about lord H. Pet. on which the pretended sinking fund ty's plan of finance, and the nature was founded.
and operation of the sinking fund in These false appearances of sinking i general, in 1807, bore a near resem. funds, invite popular applause and
blance to that between Mr. Necker confidence at first. But they do not aod Mr. Calonne, in France, about seem calculated to stand the touch twenty years previous to that period. of reason, or the test of time. Nr. Necker, the comptroller of the
Bill for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, brought into the House of
Peces by Lord Grenville.- Motion for appointing a Day for the second Reuding of the Bill. Communications on this Subject be. trecen His Majesty and Foreign Powers.-Secund Reading of the Bill. - Speakers in favour of the Bill - and Speakers against it. Religious and Morul Plan for the gradual Abolition of Slavery, by Lord Sidmouth. New Clauses introduced into the Bill. The Bishop of London's Lamentation respecting the Paucity of Chur. ches and Ecclesiestics in our West-India Islands.---Emphatic De. claration against the Bill, by the Earl of St. Vincent. The Bill passed in the House of Peers, anı sent down to the House of Com. mons....Speakers pro and con...-Council head against the Bill... Second Reading of the Bill.--.Debate on the Question for going into a Committee...- The Question carriedl.--and passed into a Law.... Motion for a gradual Abolition of Slavery in our West India Colonies, by Lord Percy---supported by Mr. Sheridan---but not pressed, for the present, by Lord Percy against the general sense of the House,
HE time that was taken up, and might be induced to pay homage to
the anxiety that was shewn by the the purest principles of morality. Britisb parliament, to provide for an It will be recollected that two re. enormous expenditure, the necessity solutions were passed by both houses, of which was imposed upon the state in the last session of parliament; the by the imperious law of self-preser. one declaring that the African slave. pation, did not shut the ears of the trade, being contrary to the princi. legislature against the cries of suffer. ples of justice, humanity, and sound ing and outraged humanity.
policy, ought to be abolished with all A bill for the abolition of the slave. practicable expedition; and the trade went hand in hand with the other, to address his majesty, be. proceedings respecting finance and seeching him to take such measures economy. The British parliament as might appear most effectual for and nation had the generosity and obtaining, by negotiation, the con. the courage, in the cause of humanity currence and concert of foreign pow. and justice, to hazard an innovatioii, ers, in the abolition of the slave-trade, which, in the opinion of most men, and the execution of the regulations threatened ruin to the most valuable adopted for that purpose.* branch of British commerce,
and Iurpursuance of these resolutions, proved to the world, that this nation lord Grenville on the 2d of Janu. of shopkeepers," as it had been sheer. ary brought into the house of peers, ingly styled by the French, was sus- a bill for aholishing the slave-trade. ceptible of the finest feelings, and Lord Eldon wished to know whether
the * l'ide Vol. XLVII, 1806, History of Europe, p. 92.
the bill was meant to extend to the spect to Portugal, it was not thought slave.trade in general, both in the expedient to make any communica. West Indies and on the coast of Afri. tion on the subject, during the ne. ca, or if it was the African slave. gotiation with France....These five trade only that was to be abolished. were the only powers materially Lord Grenville said that the bill ex. interested in the slave-trade, tended to the African tra le only..-- On the 4th of February, counsel Lord Eldon, however, thought that having been called in, pursuant to or. this mode of proceeding, for the der, before the house of lords, Mr. abolition of the slave-trade, was im. Plumer and Mr. Dallas attended on practicable, and that, if their lord. behalf of the West-India merchants; ships consented to put an end to the Mr. Alexander for the merchants of trade on the coast of Africa, the ap- Liverpool; Mr. Scarlett for the plication of the same principle would merchants and planters of Januai. necessarily compel them to extend ca and Trinidad; and Mr. Clarke the abolition to the West-India is. for the corporation of Liverpool, and lands. The bill was read a first time, the trustees of the dock of that port. and printed.
The counsels having concluded their January 12th, on the motion of pleadings, requested, according to lord Grenville, for appointing a day the prayer of the petitioners for for the second reading of the bill for whom they appeared, that witnesses the abolition of the slave-trade, lord might be called in ; which was not Hawkesbury moved an address to allowed, as it was not thought in any his majesty, praying, “ that he would respect necessary be graciously pleased to order to be The day appointed for the second kid before the house, copies of all reading of the bill for abolishing the communications which had passed slave-trade, was Wednesday the 5th between his majesty and foreign of February ; on which day, lord powers, respecting the abolition of Grenville having given a copious dethe slave.trade, in consequence of the tail of the principal arguments on address of that house.” Lord Gren- which the principle or spirit of the ville said, that with respect to France bill was founded, concluded with the fact was, that during the late ne moving, “ that the bill be now read gotiation with the government of that a second time." The abolition of country, communications on this the slave-trade has been so repeatedly subject did take place, to the pro. submitted to the consideration of par. duction of which he saw no objec- liament, and the proceedings and detor. As to Spain and Holland, no bates on this subject so often noticed communications had or could have in the Annual Register for the pre. taken place with those powers. ceding twenty years, that it is altoCommunications respecting the slave. gether innecessary, and might aptrade had passed between the pleni. pear even irksome to our readers, to potentiaries of this country, and the follow the reiterated discussion united states of America ; and an through the speeches in both houses, Agreement on this subject actually in 1807. We shall therefore just formed one of the articles of the trea. state the progress of the bill till it was ty which had been signed by one of passed into a law, and then take a thusę plenipotentiaries. With re. brief view of the question, not only as